isupportredfridays_edited-1 Join me by wearing red on red shirt Friday! Pray for my brother-in-law's safe return as well as the rest of our troops!

Friday, January 22, 2010

About the Editor

Hi! I'm Christie O., just your plain old regular average mom, a 35-year-old mother of two toddler boys, stay at home mom and freelance writer. I've been married to my soulmate for 5 years. We met in a bar in college, of course. This year, I completed my first Olympic distance triathlon, ran/walked on a treadmill in a mall for 10 hours (one of them in a swimcap), and ran a half-marathon in a tutu.
My Story

I am a writer and freelance journalist who put my career on hold after my first child was born 6 weeks early due to pre-eclampsia. In my former life, I was a writer and producer for The Associated Press, FOX News Channel and various local television stations. I began blogging at the Mis-Adventures of Captain Poopy after the first baby and then later, the recently retired family blog, Baby Tea Leaves. Today, life's a little different, and so is my blog. I am a freelance writer, I am a champion for the March of Dimes and an organizer for a local group of preemie moms who support other mothers of preemies, a group called Mommies Little Miracles.

My two-year-old was born at almost 41-weeks, which to the mom of a preemie is nothing short of another miracle in my life, as I believe that God not only healed my wounds from my first birth experience, but gave me the gift of being able to relate to and support other mothers of preemies.

My life changed drastically since deciding to stay home. After my second son was born, I was depressed, extremely overweight, and just not myself anymore. I wanted to help preemie moms, I wanted to lose weight, but I didn't have the energy and I just wasn't sociable anymore. I stayed home a lot.

One day, a picture of me showed up in my inbox (because life changes usually start with some sort of rock bottom moment, don't they?) and that picture really summed it up for me. I was a large, unhappy, hot mess.
So after I cried my eyes out and wallowed in my mess-ness, I logged onto the computer, found Couch to 5k, signed up for a 5k race, and started working out and that's when my new journey began. I changed my terrible eating habits. It was hard as hell. My body hurt so bad, all jiggly and such and I hated myself (as reflected in this post.) But on June 6th, 2008, I was 17 pounds lighter and I crossed the finish line of my first 5k. I signed up for a 10k in November and crossed that finish line too. In March of 2009, I ran my first half-marathon. And because I was so bored with running, (really I am not a runner at all -- it just seems to help me in my weight-loss efforts) I decided to train for a triathlon. Some really important people in my life told me it couldn't be done. They told me I was crazy.

And yes. Yes I am. But Booyah! I did it. But most of all, you know how everyone says, "This time I'm REALLY GOING TO LOSE WEIGHT!" But they never really do? (That was me.) But this time, this was finally it for me! Unlike the millions of zillions of times that I had said it before, this really was it!
I crossed my first triathlon finish line almost 40 pounds lighter and became an addict. In my first triathlon experience, I was passed by a 78-year-old woman, by people much larger than me, and by paraplegics. Because everyone does triathlons. Everyone. Of all shapes and sizes. Limbs and no limbs. I now believe that anyone can do one. After all, triathlon is just "creative crosstraining," isn't it? You do some running, you add in a little biking and a splash of swimming to your exercise week because you need the cardio anyway, and voila! Triathlon. I mean, you really should crosstrain anyway!

My Journey

But the weight-loss journey for me was more of a soul-searching one. It taught me that perserverance and persistence does indeed pay off. That it's a long, tedious process where you have to look hard to find small victories to keep you going. That you can find inspiration and motivation almost anywhere if you're looking and trust me, you have to keep looking because it always runs out. That try as you may to treat the journey as a solo-mission, you really need a support network and team to help you get there. That we, as humans, as mommies, are truly capable of anything and everything we want. That it might hurt, that there might be pain, but all of it is fleeting. The payoff is just so valuable. It makes the pain so worth it.

I've changed my life. My children come to my races and my husband now does them. I'm almost 60 pounds lighter now than I was in the days where my tummy touched the steering wheel (when I wasn't even pregnant.) We eat healthy.

Making and reaching goals in weight-loss and triathlon has become a symbol of my life in general. The parallels of facing your fears (I was deathly afraid of open water swimming for months) and pushing your own limits gives you the strength and courage to be brave later on. It all goes in the bank for you to draw on later. Not just in triathlon, but in life.

I AM FINALLY LIVING NOW! Unlike all those years of letting weight rule my life! And I wrote this post about finally not waiting anymore to get off the couch. I appreciate and love life so much with all of its twists and turns and highs and lows and tears and heartbreak and joys and miracles that my only regret is not having learned to love and appreciate life sooner. I found my cape. I believe everyone has one. It took 34 years, but I finally love and appreciate me. And believe you me, that was no easy feat.

Last year I completed my first Half-Iron distance triathlon and this year I completed my first marathon! My big races this year are the Half-Ironman Augusta in September and the Disney Full Marathon again next January!

Join me in the discussion about motherhood, training and everything in between!
 * * *
I can also be found as a contributing writer at The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans, a wonderful fitness and weight-loss community, 5 Minutes for Mom, and Tri and Run Florida! You can follow me on Twitter @christieo and @momswearcapes, and on Facebook at Average Moms Wear Capes.

My Favorite Quotes

"Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it." - Bill Cosby

I tri because one day I didn't believe in myself. And then one day I did.

"I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of a man is to live, not to exist." - Jack London

Some people think it's holding on that makes one strong- sometimes it's letting go.

"Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History."- Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Live life PASSIONATELY, laugh OUT LOUD, love UNCONDITIONALLY. - from my spoon rest.

"The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire." - Ferdinand Foch